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Anthropogenic platinum fluxes: Quantification of sources and sinks, and outlook

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Abstract

Employing the data available to date, anthropogenic Pt fluxes are calculated for Germany with special emphasis on the Pt emitted by cars equipped with catalytic converters. Pt fluxes are quantified using five different methods (street deposition, automobile emission rate, sewage sludges, atmospheric load, industrial consumption). During the first and the second methods, approx. 100 kg of emitted Pt are seen to result for both for the mid 1990’s. Up to the year 2018, a total of 2100 kg of Pt will be emitted by cars equipped with catalytic converters. The diffuse atmospheric Pt deposition amounts to 0.73 – 4.4 μg/m2y or 260 kg Pt/year. Industrial sources emitting Pt into the atmosphere are likely but difficult to quantify. The enrichment of Pt in soils during agriculture fertilization with sewage sludges and during diffuse atmospheric deposition result in a level of 46 – 460 ng/kg up to the year 2018. Although this is slightly below the geogenic background, a comparison with the pollution history of Pb implies that forthcoming environmental Pt enrichment should not be neglected.

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Correspondence to Eckard Helmers.

Additional information

An erratum to this article is available at http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/BF03039215.

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Helmers, E., Kümmerer, K. Anthropogenic platinum fluxes: Quantification of sources and sinks, and outlook. Environ. Sci. & Pollut. Res 6, 29–36 (1999). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02987118

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Keywords

  • Atmospheric load
  • automobile emissions
  • environmental enrichment
  • industrial consumption
  • lead
  • platinum fluxes
  • palladium
  • Pb
  • Pd
  • PGE
  • platinum group element
  • Pt
  • sewage sludges
  • sinks
  • street deposition